Brembo boosts N.A. business with $115 million plant expansion

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HOMER, Mich. -- Brembo S.p.A., the storied Italian brake supplier to Ferrari, Porsche and Formula One race cars, is developing a major presence in the North American market.

On Wednesday, the company formally announced the $115 million expansion of its brake component plant in Homer, Mich.

That facility now can produce up to 12.5 million brake discs and 400,000 calipers and corner modules annually, up from 10 million discs, and 300,000 calipers and corner modules last year.

In an interview with Automotive News, company executives predicted that North America will become Brembo’s biggest global market this year, as the European market continues to stagnate.

Last year, North American revenue jumped 19 percent, and Matteo Tiraboschi, Brembo’s executive deputy chairman, told Automotive News that he expects sales in the region to grow 15 percent this year.

“That’s good growth,” Tiraboschi said. “Brembo is growing very fast in this market.”

In North America, Brembo does considerable business with Chrysler Group -- its biggest customer in the region -- as well as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, along with traditional European customers like Germany's luxury brands.

And it has extended its product portfolio beyond high-performance vehicles like the Dodge Viper, Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac CTS-V.

For example, Brembo also supplies brake components for Chrysler’s minivans and its compact sedans. So it came as no surprise that Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne attended Brembo’s dedication ceremony at its expanded plant in Homer.

“We are thinking about other investments in the aftermarket in Mexico,” Tiraboschi said. “In the next few years, we see very good growth for this market.”

You can reach David Sedgwick at dsedgwick@crain.com.


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